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government to follow suit and in 1996, president bill clinton, the democrat, he signed the federal defense of marriage act restricting the definition of marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman. even with a democrat in the white house, the struggle continued. it was not until 200 that vermont became the first state to legalize same sex civil unions. massachusetts then issued marriage licenses to same sex couples. but the struggle did not abate. as many states responded with constitutional amendments. a few local governments, including san francisco began granting licenses to same sex couples. on election night, as they elected the first african-american president of the united states, born of an interracial marriage, on that night california voters chose president barack obama and passed proposition 8. stripping same sex california couples of their freedom to marry. which is what made this moment so extraordinary. president obama who just a few months before had articulated his own support for marriage equality stood on the steps of the capitol immediately after taking the o
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